Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 27, 2013: Roundy's Bacon

Nice breakfast bacon; no time for a full review.  Roundy's Mariano's supermarket is the Wegmans of Chicagoland!

Friday, July 26, 2013

June 26, 2013 New Product: The Bacon Bowl!

My food-savvy son Sam Murphy got me into using a cupcake pan, and instead of putting in a paper insert for a cupcake, put Canadian bacon and/or prosciutto in there instead.  He got the idea from lifehacker.  Then, fill the cavity with eggs and cheese; bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes (or microwave as appropriate), and you have a ready-to-pop-in-your-mouth breakfast.  I tried to line the pan with bacon instead, but the bacon didn't properly crisp up.

In the category of "why didn't I think of this" comes the Bacon Bowl.  Watch the video, check out their website.  Pure genius; I ordered a few and will be handing them out as gifts.  Comes with a recipe book too.  Way overpriced, but worth a look!  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013: Bacon Used as Medicine, Cures Disease


Bacon, when used properly, can actually cure a disease, within a couple of hours.  Check out this story about a young woman from Connecticut, who, upon returning from a vacation trip to Columbia, had incredible pain in her head.  She had become infected with a screwworm infestation, known as myiasis, during the trip.  Columbian doctors gave her antibiotics, but they didn't work.  Her US doctors applied petroleum jelly, and BACON to her skin, which resulted in the attraction and death of 142 larvae! The original article is in Discover Magazine.
"In the U.S., the agriculture department wiped out screwworms by releasing sterilized male screwworm flies into the wild wherein they bred uselessly with females and obliterated the population, according to Discover Magazine."
Only this simple picture (from the CDC) will be provided, but you can do your own search for screwworm.  Nasty.

But the good news is that we found another use for bacon.  Seeming more and more like the duct tape of the food world - 1,000's of uses.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 29, 2013: Bacon Hot Dogs

The dogs are available at Roundy's Mariano's store (the Wegmans of Chicagoland)!  Will be using a Life hacker method to test 'em.

Check out the lifehacker method of cooking hot dogs; it's very cool.  You essentially impale your dog with a skewer, and then cut a spiral into the hot dog.  This lets all the condiments (and that's a big deal here in Chicagoland) have a home on the dog, and not falling out.  Genius!  The picture is actually from the lifehacker site:

The bacon hot dog had only a hint of bacon flavor, but it was distinctive enough.  Worth the buy! Juicy and flavorful. You can only get these in Chicagoland at Roundy's supermarket.  I've inquired at other markets; no dice.  My dog was not as photogenic as lifehacker's.  Or since this is a blog and is supposed to be topical, should I say my weiner was not as photogenic?

July 21, 2013 - BACON BACON in the News, Louie's Finer Meats, Lester's Bison Farm

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with a review of Louie's Finer Meats bacon, as well as some Bison Bacon from Lester's Country Store - both are from different Wisconsin outfits.  But first, a bit of news!


BACON BACON IN TROUBLE.  If you are a Saturday Night Live fan, you've probably heard about this.  If you live in San Francisco, and in particular the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, you're living it.  It's all about the Bacon Bacon restaurant.  The current home page announces "BACON BACON IS VICTORIOUS".

I've written about the Bacon Bacon truck before.  It is the mobile version of the restaurant by the same name, situated in the aforementioned formerly-hippie-now-gentrified neighborhood.  Funny how the hippies who caused trouble there in the 60's and 70's are, today, wrapped really tight.  They've been complaining about the bacon smells in their neighborhood!  So much so, that they got the city to shut down the restaurant for 45 days, pending a hearing which was held this week.  The story was covered by numerous TV stations, as well as print/Internet media outlets.  Following it has been a lot of fun.  Here are a couple of interesting comments posted on various websites.
OK, so this Anonymous guy obviously has something stuck up his a** over this issue.  I should give him the benefit of the doubt; the ventilation system might be poking into his bedroom window.  I have read that many of the residents are choked up about this because - gasp - the bacon vapors might contain carcinogens!  Next thing you know, each piece of bacon will be required by statute to have a paper wrapper (in large font and multiple languages, of course) that says "This bacon slice contains ingredients known to the state of California to cause cancer."  Just wait!

But this comment is a little more to my liking:

I will certainly be visiting Bacon Bacon on my next trip to SF.  By the way, the restaurant will be re-opening in September.  Seems that a faulty ventilation system was the problem after all.  Article here.

MY SECOND STORY is a congratulatory one.  Our friends Alice and George are now empty-nesters.  I provided a modicum of assistance and advice to their twin daughters, Grace and Nina, in their quest to gain appointments to the US Military Academy at West Point, and the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY.  Both achieved their dreams and received appointments.  Each reported to her respective institution one day apart - what an achievement.  We wish them continued success during their four-year journey.  Alice and George gave me the bacon-flavored vodka you see below, following the wonderful Fourth Of July parade in Lake Bluff, Illinois - a really patriotic slice of Americana.  Thanks for the gift and it tastes great!

ON TO THE BACON.  This week I've taste tested two completely different bacons.

LOUIE'S FINER MEATS BACON.  My friend Skip suggested that I get some bacon from Louie's Finer Meats, in Cumberland, Wisconsin.  Check out the site by clicking on the link to the left.  Skip absolutely raves about their bacon, so I was excited to chow on it!

The box arrived when expected, and was packaged well.  Here are some shots of the opening of Louie's box:

Your standard box, but a nice styrofoam cooler container that's obviously re-usable.  Like when I sent my Father-In-Law, Rich, some bacon or Ice Cream from Graeter's, which he can't get in Connecticut.

Finally the bacon appears.  While the packaging says 12 ounces, I ordered two pounds; each of these packages weighed in at 16.1 ounces and 15.9 ounces net; post cooking they weighed 5.2 and 5.4 ounces and produced about 120 ml of bacon lard.  The smell upon opening wasn't smokey at all - it smelled more like a nice cut of ham.  The bacon was nicely striped - just like you want to see - or should we say 'finely marbled'?  The color was a little too pink, which normally indicates over-curing.  However, upon cooking, the sublime flavors of sweetness and pure bacon came through.  Not crispy, but a little chewy.  Highly rated.

LESTER'S BISON BACON.  The second bacon I tested wasn't really bacon at all - it's Bison Bacon!  Check out Lester's Bison Farm!  Click the link and read his story.  We met Lester and his crew of two at the weekly farmer's market in Lake Forest.  We also picked up the local farm - produced eggs as well.

I'm sure parts of these slices are from the belly of the Bison - the leanest of meat producers - but it's not like porcine product.  This bacon also comes from Wisconsin.

The 'bacon' is obviously bison pieces and parts pressed together; not a bad idea.  It's what they do with "Turkey Bacon" - which truly IS NOT Bacon.  However, I'd give Lester a pass and agree that this is "bacon-like".

 Check out the eggs below!  These are called "rainbow" eggs.  When you get eggs from a farm, you're going to see some double-yolkers, like the one second from the right in the bottom row. 
 Bison bacon and Rainbow Eggs are awesome!

Now for the ratings.  Difficult to compare two totally different products, but here it goes:

Louie's Finer Meats Bacon
Lester's Bison 
        3         2
        4.5         4
        3.5        NA
        3.5     different
Rendered Fat
      medium        low
       3.75      Great!